After recounting his expedition with Scipiano to secure a peace, Perlot pens his longest meditation on the Indians he has met. It is a remarkable assessment for its time, making them out to be neither Diggers nor noble savages, but clearly indicating the writer's own politics: "This habit of judging without knowing each other is, I think, most of the time, the source of the wars which break out before peoples, whether they are savage or civilized," he says in conclusion to the treaty account, and then goes on: "We had built a false idea, certainly, of the Indian when we considered and treated him as a wild beast.... He is called savage, I hardly know why; whether by this word one means a ferocious, unsociable being, or simply living in a state of nature, it belongs in no way to the Indian. He has, just like us, his customs, his laws, his religion; only they differ from ours.... Doubtless, there is an institution which forms for so-called civilized peoples one of the bases - some of them simply say the base - of society, and which the Indian does not know: property. Is this a sign of inferiority? I will not decide the question. But who can tell us that the progress of civilization will not bring us, in this respect, to the point where the Indian is? (282-83)

Savage Dreams (1994)
Rebecca Solnit